PowerShell Locker ransomware (Tutorial)

PowerShell Locker virus Removal Guide

What is PowerShell Locker ransomware?

What is known about PowerShell Locker virus?

PowerShell Locker virus belongs to the group of file-encrypting viruses that takes users’ files to hostage and demands a particular amount of money. This new ransomware[1] mostly spreads via malicious email attachments and after infiltration encrypts data using the combination of AES and RSA ciphers. For data encryption PowerShell Locker ransomware uses a public key; however, victims need the secret and well-protected private key for data decryption. On the affected computer ransomware targets files that are on the desktop, documents, pictures and downloads folders. Unfortunately, the majority of people saves the most valuable documents in these directories, so after the attack, they lose all personal files. Often victims become frightened because of corrupted records and received ransom message. Cyber criminals are good at scaring people, so they often decide to pay the demanded ransom. Victims have to transfer the ransom in Bitcoins via unique Bitcoin wallet address. However, following hacker’s instructions might be a risky business. After receiving your payment, hackers can disappear because they have achieved their goal. Ransomware viruses are created for swindling the money and helping victims to restore files is only the matter of hackers’ conscience. For this reason, we recommend PowerShell Locker removal with reputable anti-malware tools, for instance, FortectIntego or Malwarebytes.

Malware has been written using PowerShell framework; however, it’s not the first PowerShell-based ransomware. Virus researchers have seen this kind of malware in early 2013[2]. This Microsoft’s framework has been made open-source and cross-platform at the end of summer 2016[3]. There’s no surprise that evil-minded hackers took it to their advantaged and developed a brand new ransomware. PowerShell Locker virus is capable of deleting Shadow Volume Copies, disabling Windows startup repair and System Restore functions, so it might be impossible to restore files after the attack. Malware researchers haven’t created a free decryption tool that can help to recover data yet. Backups stay the only free and safe data recovery solution but before thinking about that you have to remove PowerShell Locker from the computer.

Fragments of PowerShell Locker ransomware

Why do computers get infected with ransomware?

PowerShell Locker malware spreads via VBS downloader script and uses PDF document to hide this malicious file. Similarly to other ransomware viruses, this malicious file is attached to an email and sent to the innocent and curious Internet users. As soon as users open the attached document, the ransomware is executed on the computer and starts its illegal activities. Unfortunately, these malicious email campaigns are still the most popular and effective ransomware distribution technique in general. Hackers pretend to be from various institutions and convince victims that attached document is important to open. Therefore, if you want to avoid PowerShell Locker hijack or other ransomware attacks, you should be careful with emails[4], do not click on suspicious links or ads, install reputable security program and watch your every step online[5].

Guidelines for PowerShell Locker removal

If your computer has been infected with PowerShell Locker ransomware, you should rush with its removal. The longer you let it stay inside, the more damage it might cause. Ransomware viruses are capable of installing additional malware that can make your computer’s system even more vulnerable. For PowerShell Locker removal we recommend installing FortectIntego or SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner. These malware removal programs will help you to clean the computer and wipe out all malware-related components. Probably, the virus will not let you install security tools so simply. Therefore, you should reboot your computer to the Safe Mode with networking and follow the instructions prepared below. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to remove PowerShell Locker to get back access to the corrupted files. For data encryption, you will need additional tools or data backups.

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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of PowerShell Locker virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove PowerShell Locker using System Restore

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of PowerShell Locker. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with FortectIntego and make sure that PowerShell Locker removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove PowerShell Locker from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

Data encrypted by PowerShell Locker ransomware virus might be impossible to restore if you do not have data backups. Malware deletes Shadow Volume Copies and disables System Restore function. However, we do not recommend paying the ransom and trying to get back access to your files in this way. There are other tools that might help. Besides, you can backup corrupted files and store then in the external device. Maybe in the near future malware researchers will create a free decryption tool.

If your files are encrypted by PowerShell Locker, you can use several methods to restore them:

Data Recovery Pro – a professional tool for restoring files

Data Recovery Pro is a professional software that has been created for restoring lost, damaged or encrypted files. It might not recover all encrypted files; however, some of them will be rescued for sure.

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by PowerShell Locker ransomware;
  • Restore them.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from PowerShell Locker and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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